Board Of Supervisors Give Staff Direction On Facility Master Plan

The Placer County Board of Supervisors recently received an update on the County’s Comprehensive Facility Master Plan at a regularly scheduled meeting in March. The Board sought additional information and directed Facilities Services staff to proceed with the update.

The Plan, last updated in 1993, provided a projection of the county’s needs for space for its various functions through 2011. Today’s Board action directed staff to continue their data collection and analysis to guide the county as it identifies its need for the coming decades.

A recent aerial view of the Placer County Government Center.
Placer County has recently demolished numerous buildings in the Placer County Government Center in North Auburn, at the former DeWitt Hospital. These buildings, built in the 1940s, had reached the end of their useful life. In 1991, 92 percent of county staff was located in the aging DeWitt facilities. At the beginning of 2011, that number had been reduced to 15 percent of county staff. With both newer county building space available and department consolidation, staff has been relocated to new locations, and the obsolete buildings are being removed. The county will continue with its current demolition efforts and investigate public/private partnerships and other alternative service delivery methods.

“The County’s ability to provide for its facility needs is a direct result of careful planning,” said James Durfee, Director of Facility Services Over the years, the Board of Supervisors has used the Facility Master Plan as the guiding document for the development of the Capital Facility Impact Fee, the Capital Finance Plan, and ultimately to deliver all of the buildings constructed over the past two decades. This update will allow the Board to continue to manage its capital facilities needs well into the future.”

Staff has also been collecting information on utilities and infrastructure at the Placer County Government Center. The documenting of these systems is almost complete. Much of the infrastructure, including water and storm drainage, date back to the original development of the site as a military hospital in 1943 and are nearing the end of their lifespan. Assessment of the infrastructure and assets will provide a basis for long-term planning of county facilities.

The 1993 Plan was based on projections for population, staff needs, department trends, and public safety needs. The Plan was done within the context of the Placer County Master Plan and the Auburn Bowman Community Plan. Since 1993, there were significant changes in Placer County. In addition to a surge in population, the Superior Court became a state agency, independent from local government. Placer County combined the Planning, Building, Surveying and Engineering functions under one agency: the Community Development Resource Agency and Health and Human Services combined with Health and Welfare. In addition, several other departmental changes over two decades have realigned divisions within the county government.

The 1993 plan provided the basis for development of facilities for various Placer County government offices and departments. Capital Plan projects were developed in accordance with the Plan. Funding for the buildings was through the Capital Facilities Impact Fee and the Capital Facilities Finance Plan.

Facilities constructed or remodeled under the Plan, include:

* Finance Administration Building;
* Community Development Resources Center;
* Auburn Justice Center;
* Auburn Jail Housing Unit 4;
* Juvenile Detention Facility;
* Children’s Emergency Shelter;
* Foresthill Memorial Hall;
* Colfax Library;
* Rocklin Library;
* Bill Santucci Justice Center; and
* South Placer Adult Correctional Facility.

The update of the Plan will set goals for needs for county facilities and help guide the Capital Facilities Financing Plan, enabling prudent fiscal planning that can set aside funding for construction of future buildings and development.

A comparison between the 1993 Plan and actual number staffing, population and related data were very close. The updated data that will be used in the Plan update will provide a baseline for the next generation of master planning efforts

The next steps for the Placer County Department of Facility Services will be to develop the county’s space needs and projections, do an analysis of scenarios and alternatives, develop a budget model for any improvements or construction and work with the Board of Supervisors to finalize any plan.

Staff is expected to return to the Board in 6 to 9 months with a status update report.